Use of Copyrighted Materials


Each member of the CSU, Chico community is responsible for understanding and complying with US copyright laws. CSU Chico faculty, staff and students also must consider the copyright and intellectual property policies of the Chico campus, as well as the CSU system. The purpose of this website is to provide links to relevant information about US copyright law, as well as CSU, Chico's copyright policies and guidelines.

CSU, Chico Copyright Policies 

CSU, Chico copyright and intellectual property policy is found in three Executive Memoranda:

  • EM 75-10 Policy for Use of Media
  • EM 83-08 Policy for Patents & Copyrights
  • EM 97-07 CSU, Chico Intellectual Property Policy
Other relevant sources of information include:

-For issues related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Mark Hendricks in Information Resources is our DMCA agent of record with the US copyright office. His email address is
-For the CSU system, Steven Raskovich is the resource attorney for intellectual property. He also has responsibility for the California State University Channel Islands and Chico campuses.

Copyright Basics

A Book: Copyright law for librarians and educators : creative strategies and practical solutions. Crews, Kenneth D: KF2995 .C74 2012 (Reference)

Copyright, Teaching and Fair Use

  • University of Texas, Austin's materials on fair use are done very well. On this page is a very helpful Four Factor test.
  • Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office provides a wealth of general information about fair use and a Fair Use. 
    A revised version of Columbia's Checklist is now available from the University of Georgia.


For a collection of web sites about the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (the TEACH Act) see

Investigating Copyrights: the steps

The University of Texas provides a list of steps to follow to decide whether you need permission to use a copyrighted work.

Obtaining Permission

There are businesses that can secure copyright permissions for you, for a fee, or you can do it yourself.
Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office provides a thorough and richly linked site on permissions:

For text based materials The Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) will obtain copyright permissions for a fee. To secure rights for other types of materials like musical works, see the list of collective licensing agencies at the Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office website. now also offers a copyright clearance service to their customers.
If you want to get permission yourself, a handout with instructions on how to do this is available in the Technology and Learning Program (TLP) lab in the basement of the library (MLIB 003). A model permission letter is included in the handout.
The permission letter was derived from a CETUS booklet, "Fair Use of Copyrighted Works" ( © 1995 by CETUS) a website on copyright by the University of Tennessee, both of which are no longer available online. 

A recommended book: Getting Permission. How to License and Clear Copyrighted Materials Online and Off.(2007) By Richard Stim. (This is a Nolo Press book). KF3002 .S75 2007. (Main)

Copyright Ownership/Registering Copyright

The US Copyright Office has a website with instructions on how to register your works.

Copyright Law-Primary Documents

If you want to see the primary documents for US copyright Law go here: down the list and you'll see Copyright Law under Title 17.
For an alternate source see: “Copyright Law of the United States” at from the US Copyright Office. For a version with historical and revision notes see

Public Domain

Several charts are available on the web that show "When Works Pass Into the Public Domain."
The first is by Lolly Gasaway, Professor of Law and Director of the Law Library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The second was originally published by Peter Hirtle and is available at

Codes of Best Practices

Codes of best practices for fair use have been developed by more and more professional  communities in recent years in co-operation with Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University, and are gaining in their importance and usage. An Educause ELI seminar on Fair Use broadcast in September, 2013 gives a good introduction to the new codes.  The ELI seminar also notes an interesting shift in importance in transformative use in Fair Use. For  an example of one of these codes, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)has one of the most detailed codes. The ARL website also has links to successful examples of these codes of best practices.  
code of best practices for online video is available from the American University's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property in the Washington College of Law, and the Center for Social Media in the School of Communication.

The Center for Media and Social Impact (CMSi) has a compiled a list of best practices.
Stanford's Website  also has compiled a list of Codes of Best Practices, but it  surprisingly leaves off the ARL code, which is the most in depth and comprehensive code that other groups could use as model.

Recent Copyright Cases and History

On May 11, 2012 the opinion in the copyright infringement case against Georgia State University was released. Joan Chevrie, from EDUCAUSE, provides a concise summary and links to additional sources of information of the case on this page

On October 3, 2011, the AIME versus UCLA case over streaming videos was dismissed by the trial judge. 
This case didnt provide much guidance about copyright, as it was dismissed primarily because of issues other than copyright itself, according to Peggy Hoon.

A February 19, 2010 Issue Brief on the "Streaming of Films for Educational Purposes" from Jonathan Brand, Brandon Butler, Kenneth Crews, and Peter Jaszi. offers some fascinating ideas for faculty using videos in their online classroom.
On November 2nd, 2002 President Bush signed the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (The TEACH Act) into law.

On October 28, 1998 President Clinton signed the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) into law. The act was an attempt to expand copyright regulation into the digital environment.. You can see a good summary on the DMCA by the US Copyright Office at this link:  If you want to see the whole 94 page DMCA go to: 

For more  frequent updates to copyright news, see Stanford's copyright website.

If you want to go over the defining court cases for copyright, see Latman's The Copyright Law. 6th ed., 1986. The book also starts with a brief history and overview of the constitutional basis of copyright. KF2994 L38 1986 (Main)

The information on these page is not legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. If you are seeking advice for your particular needs, you should consult a lawyer